There is a huge buzz in the fitness and performance industry regarding the proper way to prepare for physical activity in sports or general fitness. At 3D we simply refer to this as 3D movement preparation. Research has shown that a dynamic warm-up can reduce performance based injuries by 60 to 70 percent. No matter what athletic movement an individual is about to prepare for, all experts agree that a warm-up is the essential starting place for a workout. At 3D we know function is generally upright, dynamic, integrated, and that it takes place in three dimensions. With this understanding we have developed our warm-up routine as follows:
1) We begin at a low intensity starting from the bottom up. Starting the warm-up with light 3D jumps, hops, and jops is an excellent way to elevate the core temperature of the body and move through the three planes of motion safely and effectively.
2) After the light footwork warm-up, we move up the kinetic chain and drive movement from the top down. This is accomplished by moving the upper body and performing various reaches in all three planes of motion.
3) Then we begin to increase intensity and integrate the entire kinetic chain with coordinated movement and firing patterns. At 3D every warm up consists of some sort of squat matrix and lunge matrix with simultaneous leg and arm movements facilitating chain reactions in the body that mimic movement for the desired sport or activity.
4) We continue to increase intensity by then becoming locomotive in our movement. We incorporate various forward and back stride, shuffle, and gallop techniques intertwined with upper body swings and reaches.
5) Further increasing proprioceptive demands and intensity we tweak height, distance, and direction. This varies the frequency and the level of flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, and internal and external rotation to better prepare the athlete for the varying movement demands of their sport.
6) We reach maximum intensity in the warm-up by utilizing high knee progressions. This traditional exercise is adjusted so the athlete moves in all three planes of motion and changes are added that include reaction, as well as variations in speed, distance and height. The result is further proprioceptive enhancement and increased neural output to help the athlete perform at the highest possible level.
7) 3D movement preparation culminates with sport specific locomotion. We take athletes through the actual movements that they will encounter on the field or court at maximum intensity. We use different variations of sprinting, shuffling, and backpedaling that force movements in all three planes of motion. When we add reactive components to these drills we can mimic what athletes will experience in the heat of competition.
I hope you find this explanation of 3D movement preparation helpful. I would be happy to assist you further in developing your own dynamic warm-up routine for your athletes. Gary Gray often asks the question: “Does your warm up look and smell like the activity you are training or preparing for?” If not, you need to evaluate the strategies you are currently using and make the necessary changes. Train to be the best-by utilizing the best training.
Yours in Athletic Performance,
Graduate of Michigan State University
CAFS, 3DMAPS, NASM-PES, ACE-CPT